Bishop Henry Williamson, Sr.

MEMPHIS, TN — Community leaders, clergy, and elected officials  marked a significant milestone in the life of Collins Chapel Connectional Hospital on Saturday, April 20, 2019  at The Great Hall in Germantown, TN. The healthcare facility celebrated the completion of renovations and saluting healthcare professionals who have contributed immeasurably of the Memphis Community. 

“While we yet have work to do to realize a fully operational facility, this day signals an important step in the journey toward delivering quality healthcare for an undeserved community in Memphis,” said Bishop Henry M. Williamson, Presiding Prelate, 1st Episcopal District, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. “This renovated healthcare facility signals an opportunity to again deliver healthcare services to an undeserved community in a way that enhances accessibility and augments the Memphis healthcare ecosystem.” 

 When initially conceived in 1910, the facility was the first private hospital to treat black people or provide an opportunity for black doctors and nurses to practice and train. In 1955, during a period of Jim Crow laws and practices, local churches, elected officials, organizations and black and white citizens pooled their resources to open a new hospital on Ayers Street. 

An integral part of the celebration   included prominent African Americans who are pioneers in the healthcare industry and iconic leaders who have transformed the industry by breaking down barriers, destroying myths and being catalysts for change in the community. 

Being honored were Dr. Kennard Brown, Exec. Vice Chancellor & CEO of UT-Health Science Center; Dr. Charles Champion, first African American pharmacist in Memphis, TN; Dr. Louis E. Cunningham, Cardiologist, Mid-South Heart Center in Jackson, TN; Mr. Gregory M. Duckett, Esq., Sr. Vice President & Chief Legal Officer, Baptist Memorial Healthcare Corp.; Dr. Rickey H. Hudson, M.D.; Ms. Lucy Shaw, former President & CEO, Regional Medical Center (The MED); Dr. Altha Stewart, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, UT– Health Science Center; Dr. William Terrell Jr., Pediatrician, Memphis Shelby County Pediatric Group; Dr. Derrick Payne, DDS, Family Dentistry; Dr. Antoinne Able, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Medicine, in Nashville, TN; Dr. Michael Ugwueke, President & CEO, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare; Dr. William George, Chief Administrator Emeritus, Collins Chapel Connectional Hospital; Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is Mr. Gary Shorb, Former President & CEO of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare and current Executive Director, The Urban Child Institute.

The guest speaker for the Healthcare Legacy Awards Luncheon was Mrs. Beverly Robertson, President & CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber and Principal of Trust Marketing & Communications, Inc. Special entertainment was provided by Mr. Will Graves and the phenomenal Lane College Choir of Jackson, TN.